Ceteris Never Paribus: The History of Economic Thought Podcast covers diverse topics from the history of economics, economic thought, and economic ideas such as new research and methodological questions.
Book Panel Jan Tinbergen and the Rise of Economic Expertise, Episode 27
Guests: James Heckman, Esther-Mirjam Sent, Philip Hans Franses and Erwin DekkerHosted by Reinhard Schumacher and Arjo Klamer
In this episode we present a book panel on the book Jan Tinbergen (1903-1994) and the Rise of Economic Expertise (CUP, 2021) by our regular host Erwin Dekker. Reinhard Schumacher provides a brief introduction to the panel which is chaired by Arjo Klamer, Professor of Cultural Economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The panel opens with reflections on the book and the legacy of Jan Tinbergen, the first Nobel Prize winner in Economics and famous econometrician, by another Nobel Laureate James Heckman, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. The other panelists offer their reflections on the econometric and economic contributions of Tinbergen, and in particular his role as broker between academia and policy circles, a main argument of the book is that Tinbergen secured a permanent place for economic experts and models in policy circles. They also explore Tinbergen's socialist convictions, his internationalism and dedication to peace, as well as his and their personal motivations to be an economist.
A cataclysm sentence for economics, Episode 26
Guests: Peter Bent, François Allisson, Herman Daly and Sara Stevano (see below for more information).Host and Producer: Maria Bach, Centre Walras Pareto, Unil, Lasuanne (former Assistant Professor of Economics at the American University of Paris)Guest hosts: Wilhelm Aminoff, Wyatt DeLong, Farrah Aridou, Jonathan Noulowe II and Paul Harding, students of a history of economics course at the American University of Paris.
Inspired by Radiolab's episode on the cataclysm sentence, this episode explores whether we could find a cataclysm sentence for economics. Radiolab had found out about the famous and award winning physicist, Richard Feynman, who in the 60s wanted to revamp the physics undergraduate degree to get more researchers into physics. He started his course at Caltech with what he called the cataclysm sentence, which is:
“If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence was passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words?”
We changed it a bit to apply only to economics:
"The one piece of economic knowledge that you would pass on to a future society if ours were to perish in a cataclysm."
Along with students at the American University of Paris, we interviewed four people, an economic historian, an ecological economist, a feminist political economist and an historian of economics. Here is the list of their cataclysm sentences:
Peter Bent, Department of Economics, Trinity College, Connecticut, USA
Julie Nelson's (UMass Boston) definition of economics: "The study of the ways societies organize themselves to provide for the survival and flourishing of life."
Herman Daly, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, USA
"Although not reducible to biophysics, the human economy is nevertheless ecologically constrained, especially in its primary macroeconomic goal of aggregate growth, by the fact that it is a physical subsystem of a finite ecosphere that lives from a non growing entropic flow of solar energy captured by scarce and depleting terrestrial materials.”
Sara Stevano, Department of Economics, The School of Oriental and African Studies, London
"Power relations are intrinsic to economic phenomena at multiple and interconnected scales."
François Allisson, Centre Walras Pareto, Unil, Lausanne
"Economics was a temporary scienceNecessary in times of perceived scarcityTo understand the waysIn which human needsTranslatedIn various ways of organising human activities" (pictured above)
While everyone had slightly different takes on the task and took us down different avenues of knowledge, there were several common themes. So fasten your seat belts, as we take you on a journey of discovery and at times a rather philosophical, utopic and radical discussion about what really matters.
Featured music (apart from the usual intro and outro music): Sounds by Jordan Powell, Erokia: https://freesound.org/people/Erokia/
Ceteris Never Paribus - James Buchanan and the Soul of Classical Political Economy
Guests: Alain Marciano and Peter J. BoettkeHosted and produced by Erwin Dekker
In this episode, Erwin talks with Alain Marciano and Pete Boettke about The Soul of Classical Political Economy a book they co-edited with archival material from the James Buchanan archives located at George Mason University. James Buchanan, Nobel Laureate in 1986 was an American economist who started as public finance scholar, who established the field of public choice and pioneered the constitutional political economy approach. They discuss the formation of the archives since Buchanan's death in 2013, his role in the development of the Virginia School of Political Economy, his academic entrepreneurship and attempts to develop intellectual centres in sometimes hostile academic environments as well the evolution of his research program. Pete Boettke details the way in which Buchanan attempted to create a vibrant intellectual environment at the various universities in which he worked. Alain Marciano, who is working on an intellectual biography of Buchanan, explains the way in which the archives inform his project and how life and work became one for Buchanan.
Relocating Modern Science with Kapil Raj, Episode 24
Guest: Kapil RajHost and Producer: Maria Bach
Join Maria Bach for an interview with Kapil Raj about his approach in the history of science. Dr. Raj is Professor of the History of Science at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences) in Paris. In particular, they discuss Raj's book Relocating Modern Science. Links to works and institutions mentioned: 1. The Go Between by L.P. Hartley 2. The Lund Centre for History of Knowledge (LUCK)
German Socio-Economics, Episode 23
Guests: Stefan Kolev and Mark McAdamHosted and produced by Reinhard Schumacher and Erwin Dekker
In this episode, Reinhard and Erwin talk with Stefan Kolev and Mark McAdam about the recent translation of eight classic articles in the tradition of German Socio-Economics including work by Georg Simmel, Joseph Schumpeter, Gustav Schmoller and Ferdinand Tönnies. These articles were picked from the rich archive of Schmollers Jahrbuch (currently Journal of Contextual Economics). They discuss the best way to understand the German tradition of Socio-Economics, the helpfulness of the Historical School label, how institutional change is best studied, and how relevant this tradition of thought is to under current socio-economic transformations around the world. The editors of these translations also discuss the process of translation both language wise and between different intellectual traditions.The issue of the Journal of Contextual Economics with all translation and original articles is open-access for a limited amount of time.
Guests: Jaci Eisenberg, Gerardo Serra and Sharmin KhodaijiHosted and produced by Maria Bach
In this episode, Maria interviews three scholars who study underrepresented or what she calls marginalised voices in the history of policy and economics. They discuss why they came to study such lesser known figures and how the research can give us new perspectives. They also share the difficulties and constraints that they face. Jaci Eisenberg studied American women who contributed to the League of Nations. Gerardo Serra studies the history of economics and statistics in 20th century Ghana. Sharmin Khodaiji researches the institutionalisation of political economy in India. Listen to find out more about their research!